It’s been about two weeks, and I’m astonished at how good I feel most of the time. I’ve really been enjoying — not just tolerating, but enjoying — the time to focus on myself and my kids. Not 100 percent of the time, but I feel like I don’t have that restless urge to go out and distract myself with someone else, to use their attention as a Band-Aid.
I still have some lingering frustrations over the lack of communication regarding, well, everything as our relationship fell apart. And I miss the security and the love that I felt with him — or thought I felt. But in the end, I know it’s better to be alone and happy than be in a relationship with a man who won’t or can’t communicate his feelings in a healthy, productive way, and who, in hindsight, was willing to let me shoulder all the blame.
In my last session with Sara, she suggested we talk through what he might say if I did talk to him. I reached the conclusion that it probably wouldn’t be anything different from what I’d heard before. I’m not sure he’s capable of seeing his own rigidity in the situation. She also gently suggested that I had very willingly picked up every speck of blame for the events that led our previous breakup, and that there had been many ways he could have reacted in that situation that would have been kinder or more comforting.
The thing I really got out of my talk with her, though, was when I brought up the struggles I wrote about in my last post — the feeling that most men only really care about my appearance, and that it’s incredibly hurtful to feel like they’re fine with what’s on the outside but don’t stick around once they see the inside. Ouch.
I compared it to feeling like a book that someone thinks has a fascinating-looking cover, then puts down once they page through it and realize it’s of no interest to them. In once case, a guy actually told me that he found my personality off-putting but that if we were to “lie next to each other all day and get to know each other,” he might like me better. I declined his kind offer.
Sara reminded me that I was an a outspoken, independent and intelligent woman (I don’t know that I’d always agree with the “independent,” but I’ll bow to her professional opinion!) and that that’s not what everyone is looking for. It isn’t a personal judgment; it’s just not what they want and/or are comfortable with.
Just the day before, I had read the following in Thich Nhat Hanh’s “No Mud, No Lotus”:
Cold air can be painful if you aren’t wearing enough warm clothes. But when you’re feeling overheated or you’re walking outside with proper clothing, the bracing sensation of cold air can be a source of feeling joy and aliveness. … The rainy day that ruins your plans for a picnic is a boon for the farmer.
I felt as if someone had just smacked a 10-foot gong directly next to my head. How did it take SO long for that to hit home?
Just because I pick up a book and put it down, because I realize it’s an espionage novel and I prefer historical fiction, doesn’t mean it’s a bad novel. Someone might think it’s the best book they’ve ever read. It might be EXACTLY the book they’re looking for. It’s just not the book for ME.
Right now, I’m tired of paging through books, and I’m tired of being picked up, thumbed through (oh, that sounds gross, actually) and put back down. I like being on my shelf, and I’m content to stay here until I feel I’ve rewritten things a bit.